Congress passed and President Obama signed a $1.1 trillion spending bill on December 18 that includes $622 billion in tax breaks and delays or suspends several ACA taxes. Given labor unions’ opposition to the Cadillac tax, the bill is seen as a victory for Democrats as much as for Republicans.
The AP (12/21, Alonso-Zaldivar) reports that the budget deal passed by Congress and signed by President Obama last week suggests that Republican opponents of the Affordable Care Act “may be able to get more by chipping away at it than trying to take the whole thing down at once.” The legislation delayed the “widely criticized” Cadillac tax and suspended the medical device tax and the health insurance tax. Meanwhile, supporters of the health law “are trying to downplay the consequences of the budget deal as superficial dings,” pointing out that the measure did not affect coverage provisions that have brought the nation’s uninsured rate “to a historic low of 9 percent.”
The AP (12/19, Werner) said in a separate article that the two-year postponement of the Cadillac tax is a “victory for unions.” The Hill (12/18, Marcos) said of the Cadillac tax delay, “Ahead of an election year in which labor’s ground support will be crucial to Democratic races around the country, it is a significant win for the party.”
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